God's Truth In Love

Archive for the ‘Compassion’ Category

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 8 – Abuse and The Church (Physical Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, Compassion, Confusion, Courage, Evil, Exhortation, Forgiveness, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Masculinity, Mercy, Persecution, Renewal, Repentance, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on August 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Physical abuse also takes place within the walls of our congregations. I have personally read outlines for physical disciple of wives. I have heard the stories of children being physically abused under the guidelines of church discipline. There is no place within the church for the physical abuse of another human being.

In an outline for how to discipline your wife, it was stated that if a woman would not submit to her husband then a certain amount of physical discipline could be used. You could inflict pain but where not to bring about too much bruising, no lacerations, and you were not to break bones. This physical abuse would be increased in nature until the woman “repented” and submitted regardless of how long it took or how many sessions of discipline were necessary to bring about the woman’s change of attitude. These sessions could not however result in broken bones or cuts on the woman’s body.

How horrid that a person would believe that they had the right to inflict physical pain on a woman until she agreed to agree with them! How could one possibly believe that this is real submission? Conformity maybe, submission no.

I once counseled a woman who would not enter a church building. When we started our relationship, she hated the church and all its members. When we were done she still had not entered a church building but was willing to give God another try and Christians a second glance.

Why did this woman have such a hard attitude? She had loved God very dearly and was an extremely dedicated church member, as was her husband who was an elder in their local church. Each Sunday they went to church, worshipped God, and serviced in their congregation. Each Sunday after church they went home where her husband proceeded to beat her. Like clockwork every Sunday after church he would beat her that way she would be healed up enough by the following Sunday to attend church and play the role of his faithful wife always at his side.

My heart broke when she told her story. It was obviously true and very difficult for her to disclose to me, yet, she found the courage to do so. As time went on this woman’s pain eased and her understanding that not all Christians were this way increased.

At a conference once, a woman was struggling with guilt. She felt inside herself that she had allowed her child to be abused but she was wrestling with the biblical principle that she was to submit to her spiritual leaders. In her church children were brought up to the front, next to the pulpit, and physically struck with a belt by the pastor for various infractions at both church and home. The number of licks they received from the belt depended on the degree of their offense. This woman was riddled with confusion and guilt, this was after all how their congregation handled discipline. Everyone else did it and everyone was afraid to question their Christian spiritual leader since this might be viewed as be rebellious or as a refusal to submit. The church and local congregations should play no role in the physical discipline of children.

It takes courage to speak up when we know physical abuse is going on in our congregations. It is easier to tell ourselves it is not our business. How can that be true however? Do we not carry a certain amount of Christian responsibility and accountability with our brothers and sisters? According to Scripture we do. We are required to hold each other accountable for our actions. There must have been someone at some point who suspected this woman was being abused or even knew firsthand she was being mistreated. Many people sat in the pews on those days when the children were humiliated and physically abused in the name of God and correction. There had to some of people who knew in their spirits that this behavior was wrong, yet, they remained silent. We cannot do such, we must speak up! We cannot allow leaders to go off the rails because we are concerned other Christians will think us out of line or rebellious. Our responsibility is to Truth and too upholding the principles of Scripture not to uphold man or man’s ideas.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 3:31-35 – Treatment of People

In Abuse, Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Compassion, Curses, Decision Making, Discretion, Evil, Exhortation, Hate, Hatred, Idolatry, Learning, Peace, Persecution, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Repentance, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on July 31, 2018 at 6:10 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 32 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous. 33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. 34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Treatment of People

How we treat other people has a major impact on the quality of our own life. All too often people attempt to improve their own life by diminishing the value of another person’s life through abuse, mistreatment such as oppression or through using those individuals to fulfill their own perverse needs physically, mentally, and emotionally.

An oppressor is not hard to spot. Most people have had to deal with one or more oppressive person in their lifetime through some form of connection or relationship. We are warned in verse thirty-one to make sure we are not the one doing the oppressing.

“oppressor” in the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is defined as follows:

1 b : to crush or burden by abuse of power or authority
2 : to burden spiritually or mentally : weigh heavily upon

There are so many ways a person can oppress another person, far too many to attempt to list here. Take a moment and think of a couple of ways a person might oppress someone through the ‘abuse of their power or authority,’ through ‘burdening another person mentally,’ through ‘burdening another persona spiritually,’ and by ‘being a heavy weigh upon’ that person’s life through producing stress or distress.

When God’s finds something or someone’s actions an abomination that is about as bad as it gets. Verse thirty-two makes it clear that those who are “froward” are an abomination to Jehovah God, LORD. The Lord finds such people to be morally disgusting and considers them a person who worships idols (see Hebrew definition below), the idols of their own self-will and the desire to live life accord to their own terms instead of living life according to His Ways, His Will, and His Purposes.

“abomination” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

8441. תּוֹעֵבָה tôw˓êbâh, to-ay-baw’; or

תֹּעֵבָה ˓êbâh, to-ay-baw’; fem. act. part. of 8581; properly something disgusting morally, i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; espec. idolatry or concretely an idol:— abominable (custom, thing), abomination.

Who are the “froward?” One might think it would have to be someone really horrible, evil, and very sinful. No not at all! The truth of who are they and how easily we can be one of them is scary.

“For the froward” in the Hebrew language is defined as literally to depart from God’s Ways and Wisdom or figuratively to be perverse in one’s actions, thoughts, or behaviors. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “froward” as someone who is habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition.”

Verse thirty-two also talks about another type of person, those God defines as the righteous. To these righteous persons God grants a secret. Let us look at what that secret is and entails.

“but his secret” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

5475. סוֹד çôwd, sode; from 3245; a session, i.e. company of persons (in close deliberation); by impl. intimacy, consultation, a secret:— assembly, counsel, inward, secret (counsel).

God keeps company with the righteous. They sense and know His Presence in their life. They are able to have a “session” with God where He talks to them and they to Him. God guides their actions through a close relationship where He walks with them daily in intimacy. They are able to “consult and counsel” with God “inwardly” and receive direction for their life and answers to their questions. God is present with them, and for the righteous there is a great awareness daily of His Presence.

Verse thirty-three through thirty-five makes it clear what the oppressors and the froward can look forward to in life because the LORD finds these behaviors such an abomination and wicked – their houses will be cured, their life will be cursed, they will not live in the blessings of God. Only the “just” aka lawful and righteous people will live in the blessings of God.

A person is about as blessed as their actions allow them to be. With minimum obedience to God comes minimum blessings. God does make life tough for those who refuse to obey Him, “he scorneth” their life in an attempt to show them that their way is not His Way and that His Way is far better. Shame is the result of foolish behavior.

Grace is found with those who humble themselves before God before His Will and obey Him. Wise people who honor God inherit God’s glory and live in the blessings of God.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 3:27-30 – What of Your Neighbor

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Compassion, Decision Making, Discretion, Encouragement, Exhortation, Forgiveness, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, Godly Counsel, Hatred, Learning, Marriage, Peace, Proverbs, Prudence, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on July 11, 2018 at 12:05 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. 30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

What of Your Neighbor

First, I pose the question, “Who is your neighbor?” It is not just the people who live next door to you, it is also those individuals with which you come into consistent contact on a reasonability normal basis. Your neighbor is not everyone in the world however. A neighbor must be a person within your community or sphere of life. The Hebrew language regarding the word “neighbour” as found in verse twenty-eight defines a neighbour as “an associate (more or less close):— brother, companion, fellow, friend, husband, neighbour.”[1] Therefore, once again, a neighbor is a person with which one has some connection either through relationship or a shared area of living, working, recreation, church, etc.

The ”good” represented in verse twenty-seven is good in a wide variety of application in the “widest sense.” However, this good is to be done to “whom it is due” and according to the definition in the Hebrew language that is inclusive of only a spouse or someone individual with whom you are obligated such as an employer or overseer of some sort that has personal authority over your life granted to them through relationship, such as the head of an organization you volunteer for, the head of a committee you sit on, the person[s] in authority over you at work, etc. Verse twenty-seven does not apply to everyone a person would consider a “neighbour” and that is important to remember. Any good it is within your power to do for your spouse or your employer should be done as God prompts and directs. Yes, I know how difficult the last statement I made is to carry out in practical life. Good cannot always be granted to those who have repeated abused the goodness offered to them. A person must pray and allow the Holy Spirit to guide their actions.

Separately verse twenty-eight deals with helping our neighbor in need. If we have what our neighbor needs, and they ask us for what they need, it is not right in God’s eyes to withhold what they need from them. If we can help our neighbor with a true need, a need that is rare and not reoccurring due to our neighbor’s personal mishandling, and we can give said help without neglecting our own household then godly wisdom dictates that we should be willing to give that help without delay.

You and your neighbors should be able to feel they can live in community together without harm being done to each other and without a desire to perpetrate evil upon each other. We should not want to hurt or do harm to anyone, most especially those within our closes associations. That includes taking their lunch or soda from the frig at work, liberating aka stealing office supplies, taking the neighbors newspaper, borrowing from your neighbor with no intent of returning or repaying what you borrowed, etc.

If people have done nothing to us, then we should not seek to be disagreeable with them. We should not seek to argue for argument sake. However, verse thirty clearly reads that we should not seek to strive with another person “without cause” implying that there are times when there is cause to disagree or strive with another person, especially if they are doing us harm or seek to do us harm. We defend ourselves if we are harmed but when we are not harmed we seek to live in peace.


Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Church Shooting – Questions about Compassion and Evil

In Agape Love, Anger, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Compassion, Confusion, Demon, Demon Possession, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Fear, Forgiveness, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Mental Disorder, Mental Illness, Persecution, Suffering, Truth, Wicca, witchcraft on December 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click the comment link below. I will continue to address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

To address some additional thoughts and questions…

Compassion for Perpetrators

Yes, if we are unable to find compassion, which is an aspect of agape love, for those individuals who are so wounded or damaged that they wound and damage other people we are no different than the world. Scripture makes it clear that it is easy to love those who love us but not so easy to love those who mistreat us.

Luke 6:32–36 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

I was wounded just recently by someone I care a great for, wounded more than they most likely realize. However, I have chosen to trust God to deal with the matter and not retaliate. I realize that the individual can only treat me with the spiritual, mental, and emotional maturity they currently possess despite what my heart might desire.

Evil

Yes, evil does exist! It is a powerful spiritual force that can destroy individuals and lives. Evil is a byproduct of the fall of both Satan and the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. If we had to trace goodness back to one source that source would be God. Likewise, if we had to trace evil back to one source that source would be Satan. Evil and its father, Satan, are a very powerful force second only to God and not one to be taken lightly.

Please understand this point. Without God man is completely powerless over evil. Whether you are a child of God through the rebirth of your spirit or a child of God through creation who has yet to recognize God as their Father you would not be able resist evil without God’s help. Without God this entire world would be consumed with evil. The world is Satan’s playground, his domain in some manners and therefore we are not to be naïve when it comes to the evil that surrounds us in our society.

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The issue of labeling evil as demon possession, demonic influence, congenital evil, or consensual evil is in all honesty an extremely difficult thing to do. People like to place labels on things or actions but in order to truly label almost any action or behavior a person would require so much information that gathering said information would be almost impossible. This is why I find it difficult to respect people who place labels. Yes, we can offer insights and possible reasons for why someone will say or do something but to say, “we know” without doubt and place a label on that person is in my belief almost impossible – it also borders on condemning a person, the worse form of judging another person. Most people do not even talk to people enough to get a good understanding of what they think, believe, or to understand why they took certain actions much less gathering enough information to slap a label on them. Therefore, I would exhort you to be very careful before deciding what type of evil might be presence in a situation.

Evil is a topic that is challenging to undertake in such a forum as the sheer volume of what could be written on the topic is enormous. I will address just a few matters here but in no way, will I even scratch the surface of what should or could be written on the matter. I will confine myself to the previously mentions aspects of evil – demon possession, demonic influence, congenital evil, and consensual evil.

Demon possession did exist during biblical times, and does exist to date. Evil spirits aka demons where sent upon King Saul (1 Sam. 16:14). Both Jesus (Luke 7:21) and Paul (Acts 19:11, 12) acknowledged demons and demon possession casting demons out of those afflicted. There are situations where people are labeled as being mentally ill, which I believe without much doubt are cases of “demon possession” yes, demon possession. With that said, I also believe some people have been considered possessed by a demon when they were legitimately mentally ill. Overall, I believe there are a great deal of things labeled as mental illness or mental disorders that are in truth a form of evil influence or a result of sin.

People are prompted to do evil by the demonic influences around them or around someone who has access to their life, such as was the case with Ahab (1 Kin. 22:1–23). Demonic “influence” is possible for all people including Christians. For this reason it is extremely important that we examine our every thought, feeling, action, and prompting against the Truth found in God’s Word. Every thought must be taken captive, so we do not fall prey to the insidious influences that find their way into our own hearts (these influences enter people’s hearts through various means which I will not go into here, but it is not always the person’s own fault.)

2 Corinthians 10:3–6 (NKJV)

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Matthew 15:19 (NKJV) Jesus Speaking

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

Congenital evil has to do with those things we find that run in our families or as some would like to say, ‘are in our DNA.’ Evil can be passed on through families via the environmental influence that opens the spirit to such evil. There can also be evil in the heredity of a family, evil known as generational curses. However, through the power and blood of The Lord Jesus, The Christ, generational curses of all type can be broken whether physical curses, behavioral cures, or mental curses.

Exodus 34:6–7 (NKJV) – When Moses was being given the second set of Tablets in the Wilderness, after the Hebrew children of God had left Egypt.

6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Exodus 20:5 (NKJV) In relation to and inclusive in the Ten Commandments.

5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Restated in Deuteronomy 5:9 (NKJV)

9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

That leaves us the final form of evil we will address here, consensual evil. A person can become demon possessed through opening themselves up to evil in their actions. Through choices they have made to involve themselves in evil actions, in satanic activity, etc. Christian can open themselves up to evil influence in a greater degree by involving themselves in sinful behavior and even evil activities. There are those people who claim to be Christians yet partake in tarot cards, horoscopes, evil media, attempting to channel, consulting spiritualist or fortunetellers, etc. These are not actions God would have His people partaking in, He expects them to shun all evil and cling to goodness, godliness, and Truth. I exhort you not to think you can play or tamper with evil without getting burned – run from all forms of evil, run quickly and far!

Deuteronomy 18:10–12 (NKJV)

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.

Romans 12:9 (NKJV)

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 (NKJV)

Abstain from every form of evil.

John 17:15 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

Jesus’ prayer for his disciples is my prayer for each of you.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.